Saturday, December 9, 2017
What PED taught us about handling future disease outbreaks. The porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) outbreak that devastated many US hog farms over the past 4 years served as a wake-up call for the pork industry to be more vigilant against foreign animal diseases. “We know what to do in the case of foreign animal diseases, like foot-and-mouth disease, classical swine fever and African swine fever,” Dustin Oedekoven, DVM, South Dakota state veterinarian, said. He thinks the industry also has a “fairly clear direction” about how to handle future investigations and where to submit diagnostic samples. A gap that became evident with the PEDV outbreak is we weren’t working in a coordinated manner to control the spread of the disease. As a result, it spread very rapidly because the swine industry was very naïve to the virus. Veterinarians worked with producers to identify the critical problems. Samples were submitted to diagnostic labs for routine workup. And when the expected diseases weren’t found, the labs initiated additional diagnostic tests and were able to identify PEDV. Other diagnostic labs worked collaboratively to develop a rapid test to identify the virus. However, a break in communications caused a gap in timely response to the disease.